was built at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. She was
commissioned on 10 December 1965 and was the 30th of
America's "41 for Freedom" Fleet Ballistic Missile
Submarines. Mrs. Samuel Wilder King served as the ship's
sponsor at the launching.
Her husband was one of the first Hawaiians to graduate from
the U.S. Naval Academy, was Governor of the territory of
Hawaii, and strived for Hawaiian statehood.
After commissioning, KAMEHAMEHA
joined Submarine Squadron 15 at its forward base in Guam,
Marianas Islands. The ship was awarded the Meritorious Unit
Commendation for operations while a member of Submarine
In July 1970, the ship was
transferred to the Atlantic Fleet and joined Submarine
Squadron 18 in Charleston,
South Carolina. In July 1971, KAMEHAMEHA was transferred
to Groton, Connecticut for weapons conversion and a
Upon completion of the conversion
and overhaul in October 1972, KAMEHAMEHA conducted
operations off the east coast of the United States. In June
1973, she joined Submarine Squadron 16 and made patrols out
of Rota, Spain. Six years later, in July 1979, KAMEHAMEHA
returned to Submarine Squadron 18 and made patrols out of
The ship was awarded the
Meritorious Unit Commendation for operations in 1984 and
1985 as a member of Submarine Squadron 14. In 1985,
KAMEHAMEHA was selected as the Atlantic Fleet Ballistic
Missile Submarine Top Performer.
KAMEHAMEHA underwent a refueling
overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from November 1986 to
After completing a total of 63
deterrent patrols, KAMEHAMEHA's missile systems were
inactivated in July 1992 and she was converted to a special
purpose, brown water attack submarine at Mare Island Naval
Shipyard in Vallejo, California. This conversion installed
modifications to support the surfaced and submerged
deployment of Special Operations Forces. In August 1993,
KAMEHAMEHA arrived again in Pearl Harbor to become part of
Submarine Squadron ONE.
KAMEHAMEHA now regularly deploys in
support of special warfare objectives throughout the Pacific.